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"Seriously? Even though several people have now stated they had no clue there was an election, you'd rather see none of us vote because we're all uninformed idiots who put random Xes on the ballot? But you also want to complain about low turnout. Am I missing anything?"
Typical thinking. As long as those idiots still keep paying taxes to the town, it all works out
"I wonder how much the cost would be to post a sign a week before at the local stores, gas stations , watering holes , package stores and the 3 post offices. That would kind of cover almost all of the folks. Just an non Montagueite offering a suggestion.. ED"
Not much I'm sure, but the town could always pay for a study to find out . The town seems to have no problem letting people know when it's time to pay them.
"I don't care if people read newspapers or not, and I'd prefer that people who need to see signs on their way to work end up not voting because they didn't see a sign -- I'd rather have that than have to count the votes of a bunch of people who randomly marked "X"es on ballots while thinking they were doing the rest of us a favor. Don't kid yourselves -- you're not doing anyone a favor. If your lives are too full of other things to pay attention to how the town in which you live is governed, then fine -- you'll get no criticism from me. Just don't complain when those of us who do try to pay attention don't bend over backwards to keep you informed. We're busy, too."
Seriously? Even though several people have now stated they had no clue there was an election, you'd rather see none of us vote because we're all uninformed idiots who put random Xes on the ballot? But you also want to complain about low turnout. Am I missing anything?
I wonder how much the cost would be to post a sign a week before at the local stores, gas stations , watering holes , package stores and the 3 post offices. That would kind of cover almost all of the folks. Just an non Montagueite offering a suggestion.. ED
having signs up on the day of the voting seems to be how several people on this site found out about the election, so there for signs work. There is legitimate concern about people voting who have no clue about the candidates. The easiest solution would be a different color sign put up a week ahead of time that there is going to be an election which would give time to people who care to research what and who is on the ballot.
I think the lack of effort of candidates to get the word out about themselves seemed fairly evident. If the candidates appear apathtic then why shouldn't the voters be too?
If turn out was only 9% , either people did not know or did not care. I'm quite sure a little more effort could have been made to notify town residents. Not all of us are sitting around all day watching the weather channel and local access.
Just to be clear, I didn't mean to chastise anybody for not reading the newspaper; I just pointed out to people who were complaining about not knowing about yesterday's election that if they _did_ read the newspaper they might have known about it, since it was in the newspaper. I also wondered how they would learn about the different candidates if they don't read newspapers, since in my experience newspapers have been the best source for that information.
People around the world are bleeding and dying for the chance to have a voice in their government. To them, I think, this whole thread would seem nuts, if not obscene. We are lucky enough to live in a place where government "by the people" is a given -- at least at the local level -- and "the people" respond by saying, "Whut? How come nobody told me? Next time, put a sign up on my way to work, or post something on my Facebook page, or send me a tweet, and maybe I'll do you the favor of showing up to vote in your -- what is this election about, again?" How ridiculous must that look to someone who doesn't share that sense of complacency and self-entitlement?
I don't care if people read newspapers or not, and I'd prefer that people who need to see signs on their way to work end up not voting because they didn't see a sign -- I'd rather have that than have to count the votes of a bunch of people who randomly marked "X"es on ballots while thinking they were doing the rest of us a favor. Don't kid yourselves -- you're not doing anyone a favor. If your lives are too full of other things to pay attention to how the town in which you live is governed, then fine -- you'll get no criticism from me. Just don't complain when those of us who do try to pay attention don't bend over backwards to keep you informed. We're busy, too.
according to WHAI the voter turnout was just above 9% and all the incumbents won.
There are laws on the books about towns being required to give notice that in today's world may seem a bit out of date with today's technology.
For state and federal elections the biggest notice to voters is the paid politic ads that are designed to be everywhere.
I do not recall seeing any yard signs for candidates for this election so the question is it the fault of the town (since there were no ballot issues) and more the fault of the candidates (most were unopposed)?
And how many would REMEMBER if they got a notice a day or so ahead. Hell some of you folks can't even figure out the recycle schedule. Stop crabbing and be accountable for yourself and stop asking to have some one take you by the hand. I'm sure even if they did that there would be crying they didn't call first. Seems that (according to my old dude) there were at least 75 folks in Millers paying attention. Still a pee poor turnout out of 900 voters......... Up here on the mountain we sure as hell vote and pay attention to OUR town... Stay safe with the storms coming ED.
Mr. N. Maybe if the town PICKED them up and took them to the polls they would be more likely to vote.( Sarcasim)...Sounds like the old it ain't my fault syndrome so prevelant on this website.IE town meeting attendance. When my old dude came out from voting he said the talk inside was more about the next selectmans race..Sorry if the spelling sucks. Haven't had my second cup of coffee yet .Does any one know the outcome??
I stopped buying newspapers when I became unemployed and couldn't afford it. (job classifieds were online).
Usually this forum is pretty good about mentioning things like local elections. But this election nobody mentioned it on this forum though I noticed one normal contributer had a letter to the editor in the recorder but did not post here.
May is a very busy time of year and I think our town should look for an opt in for email announcement with a two week notice (with sample ballot) and a notice the Friday before the election so people have time to research candidates and issues.
Robocalling is not a good idea because it doesn't give time for enough information.
Maybe the town could invest in some reusable signs to post before elections that have date of elections before hand so it is not a surprise to see the orange Vote Today signs.
The only reason I voted today was because I saw the signs on the way to work.
It's pretty arrogant to chastise people for not knowing about an election because they no longer "read the paper." Fewer and fewer people do. It's pretty much like complaining people don't hand-write letters anymore. Lost cause. Between candidates who don't bother to campaign and the evolution toward digital media, it's not surprising that people literally stumbled across this election.
If my kid's school can send me robo-calls about meetings that have absolutely nothing to do with her, then any town in MA can do the same about elections. Or they can create an email list for voters to opt in to and send out a reminder the day before an election. The cost would be negligible, and this conversation would become moot.
As for turnout, well, that's another story. You can lead a horse to the voting booth but you can't make him make an X. Because horses doesn't have fingers. And they would always vote neigh.
"if you're saying that you're not going to pay any attention unless and until you see a sign somewhere convenient to you on the day of the election, why would I want you to vote?"
Because I'd be sure to flip a coin ahead of time so I didn't go in unprepared ;-)
Seriously, because if I knew the election was this week / month I would have gotten informed. Town meeting is not an issue because there are seldom more people then seats. I know one of the selectboard candidates personally and would most likely support them, though I would be sure to find out about the others. I will admit to not knowing as much about the School Committee as I have in the past but, again, I would have tried to find information.
I'm not advocating that the town let people know there is an election the day it happens. I'm advocating that they let people know a week or two beforehand. Maybe I've been too busy for my own good, but other than being told by the selectboard candidate that they were running, I had not heard a single mention of the election until Mik posted about turnout this afternoon. Sorry to be remiss in my civic duty, either way.
I think those are good suggestions, and I agree that there are a lot of ways to get the word out.
But don't you think there's a role here, too, for personal responsibility? I mean, if there's a contested race, do you really want a lot of people showing up to vote only because they saw a sign while driving by their polling place, or they saw an announcement here or on Facebook that "there's an election today"?
If you're not going to read the newspapers, how do you expect to find out about the candidates? Don't expect "the town" to tell you, because "the town" can't do that -- that's the job of newspapers and other independent information sources.
Right now, I know there will be another election on June 25, to elect a US Senator to replace John Kerry, and to elect a selectman to replace Pat Allen. I also know who the candidates are, and I've already started thinking about which ones I prefer, and I've already started trying to pay attention to learning more about them before the election. No offense, but if you're saying that you're not going to pay any attention unless and until you see a sign somewhere convenient to you on the day of the election, why would I want you to vote?
Maybe the day and week are common knowledge but they aren't to me, and I almost never drive by my polling place. If the town had posted something on this corkboard, or if they had a Facebook page and they'd posted it there, great. If it's in the paper, either the Reporter or the Recorder, I'm probably not going to see it. It's pretty easy to inform people in the 21st century, but you have to use 21st century means to do it.
I didn't realize that the election was today until I got home and saw posts in this forum. I had to get my son to baseball in the opposite direction so I never found time to vote.
I saw no signs in Montague Center over the weekend. The fact that we know vote on what may be the least traveled road in the whole town doesn't help. I feel bad that I was unable to perform my civic duty, but I didn't know. Since when are elections on Monday, anyway?
Montague holds town elections every year in May -- for all I know, it's every year on the third Monday (which is what it was this year). There's always a selectboard seat open, there are always three school committee seats open (technically, it's GMRSD's election, but it's always combined with the town's), there are always 7 town meeting seats open in each precinct, and there are other boards that always have seats open and other positions that rotate through a multi-year cycle. Once you've lived here for a little while, if you care, you learn that there's going to be an election in May, and if if you read the papers it's usually not that hard to find out when it is.
In Millers, someone showed up to vote just after the polls closed - he'd noticed the signs earlier and made an effort to come back, but he had no idea what the election was about. I had mixed feelings as I saw him leave -- should I be sad that a potential voter hadn't had the chance, or should I be glad that someone who had no clue didn't get the opportunity to put an X randomly on a contested race?
Precinct 2 (which votes at the Highland Apartments in Millers Falls) had a total of 75 voters.
In this election, there were races for selectman, housing authority, and school committee (and in Precinct 1, I believe, town meeting). The Recorder has had features about the selectman race and the school committee race, on different days last week (I didn't see anything about the housing authority -- maybe I missed it). I actually think they did a reasonable job -- there's a lot going on all around the county, and only so much print space, and besides those two articles they've also covered Pat Allen's resignation and the upcoming election for her replacement on June 25.
The Montague Reporter had nothing in its last issue (other than three letters to the editor, two of which mentioned the date of the election), which I find disappointing, since its founding mission was to provide information on, um, Montague.
I don't know my precint number, I just know I have to go over towards Millers Falls to vote (which is out of my way) around 1:45, 60 ballots divided by 2 means 30 voters.
I assume most of the frequent posters on this board actually voted. The large percentage of voters I don't think know about this website and I didn't really see anything stand out in the recorder in the weekend edition to say there was voting today.
When I left Pct. 5 around 2:00 we were up to 28! Not even close to Pct. 1 and an embarrassment overall. Considering this had a contested BOS race and a lot of open Town Meeting seats -- in a year when people on this board have expressed impatience with town government -- a low turnout is a disappointment.